Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Week 30/31, day 2

Tuesday: Science. In addition to our regular review items, I had both kids write: E his name, and P the second half of this week's copywork and a vowel worksheet. We played "rhyme jump-up": I gave the kids a word, and then said other words. When they heard a word that rhymed with the first one, they jumped up. Both of them loved this game - the physical aspect of it appealed to E, in particular. I'm confident that we'll get through 2 weeks' worth of language arts this week, and I'm hoping to do geography tomorrow as well as Friday.

For our science experiments, we investigated some of the properties of air. We took 2paper towels, crumpled one of them up, and weighed them on the balance. Having determined that they weighed the same, we took turns dropping them simultaneously from the same height. Air resistance caused the uncrumpled one to fall more slowly, so we discussed how the air had more surface area to push on for the uncrumpled paper towel than for the crumpled one. We then filled a basin with water, and put the crumpled paper towel at the bottom of a clear plastic cup. We turned the cup upside down and put it in the water. The paper towel stayed dry, because the air in the cup took up space and the water couldn't come in. Then we tipped the cup sideways, and the kids saw the air bubbling out and the water coming in to wet the paper towel. After that, we looked at the effect on the water level of filling the cup with water and pulling it out of the basin inverted (the level of the remaining water went down, until the cup came all the way out, whereupon the water returned to its original level), and pushing the cup underwater inverted, so that it, filled with air, displaced some of the water, raising the water level. I let E do some independent play, during which he discovered that if you just put the cup in the water, it tips over and sinks, but if you put a bit of water in the bottom, that stabilizes it and it floats. Eventually, of course, letting a 4-year-old do independent water play makes the kitchen rather wet, so we mopped up and declared school over for the day.

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